The hole was covered by a large and somewhat thick piece of styrofoam, like those used to protect electronics, that had gone yellow from the sun and was beginning to disintegrate. He had not come out for a very long time and, as such, was unaware of the state of its decay. The hole itself seemed to be somewhat decomposed, and—if it were possible—even smaller than when he had entered. But that was not surprising, for it had been so long since he had even strayed above to assure himself it was still intact.
It was when he saw that the last of his oranges had gone moldy that he grew fed up and decided to leave. How he had even lasted as long as he had was somewhat of a miracle. The days had been tedium upon tedium, with little to do but wait and nothing really to wait for. Long ago he had said there would be a sign, a signal, that would call him forth, but he had since forgotten what it was.
The moldy oranges—though they had begun to taste bitter long before—were sign enough, he determined. Time enough had been spent here, time enough indeed. The world beckoned him.
See the rest of the story at Circumambient Scenery